Comprehensive reports outline the market conditions for Danish visual arts

New reports about the conditions for visual arts in Denmark will be presented at a launch seminar at Copenhagen Business School on 22 November. ”A massive data collection process lies behind these reports, which have not been available to the public until now”, says Professor mso Trine Bille, who is principal investigator to the project.


Olafur Eliasson_
Olafur Eliasson, Your rainbow panorama, 2011. Photo: Anders Trærup.

Danish visual artists such as Olafur Eliasson and Per Kirkeby have been extremely successful. But what is the general picture of Danish visual artists?

Trine Bille, Professor with special responsibilities (professor mso) at CBS is in charge of the research project ”Billedkunstens økonomiske rum” (the financial conditions for visual arts). In the past 18 months, Trine and her colleagues have examined data to shed light on the conditions for Danish visual arts.

In financial terms, how big is the Danish visual arts market? How has it changed? How large are the shares distributed between the private sector, the public sector and foundations, respectively? How is the money distributed between the artists? These questions and more will be answered when the reports are made public Thursday 22 November. 

“A massive data collection process lies behind these reports, which have not been available to the public until now. This project gives us valid empirical data material, which shows the size of the art market, how it is structured, and the financial conditions under which visual artists operate”, says Trine Bille.

The study is financed by the Danish Arts Foundation’s Committee for Visual Arts Project Funding, the Ny Carlsberg Foundation and the Bikuben Foundation.

Completely new data
The research project is based on a questionnaire for the around 3,000 visual artists in Denmark. The answers have been linked with individual register data for the artists from Statistics Denmark. This has given access to detailed information, e.g. income, gender distribution, age, address and education level. The quantitative data applied has been supplemented with 21 interviews with visual artists. The process has also involved questionnaires for other significant market players, e.g. municipalities, art museums, art societies and art associations.

According to Trine Bille, one of the most important contributions of this project is the possibility of revising regulatory systems and legislation on an informed basis:

”This project may serve as a basis for law-makers and other relevant players, who can avoid making decisions in the dark and instead consider completely new data”, says Trine Bille. She continues:

”It is up to the decision-makers to determine whether the government contribution to the art is adequate or if some of the schemes should be adjusted. This goes for the different government subsidies, but also tax and labour market legislation”. 

Attend the launch seminar on 22 November
Trine Bille will present the research project at a seminar Thursday 22 November, 15:30-17:00. The speakers include visual artist Bjørn Nørgaard, museum director Gitte Ørskou, rector for Funen Art Academy Lars Bent Petersen, and visual artist Line Hvidbjerg.

Read more about the seminar (in Danish)

The project reports will become available on 22 November, the day of the seminar. This news article will be updated with links to the reports (in Danish):

Billedkunstens økonomiske rum - Pixie-udgave (pdf)
Billedkunstens økonomiske rum - Markedets samlede størrelse (pdf)
Billedkunstens økonomiske rum - Billedkunstnernes økonomiske arbejds- og levevilkår (pdf)

Next step - publishing in scientific journals
An important part of the project is to publish articles in scientific journals. So far, Trine Bille and her peers have presented two articles at international conferences. This is the first step towards publishing her research in internationally renowned journals.

”This field has not been adequately debated in academia due to the lack of proper data. Therefore these reports may serve as a basis to publish a number of peer-reviewed articles. In the long term, we can gain a better understanding of the art market and the careers and working conditions for artists”, says Trine Bille.


For more information, please contact:

Trine Bille, Professor with special responsibilities

Matilde Hørmand-Pallesen, Journalist, CBS Communications


The page was last edited by: Communications // 11/22/2018